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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

On March 21, at 7:30 p.m. at the Roswell Town Hall, the Roswell City Council will hold a hearing on a proposed ordinance change that would limit the ability of residents to defend themselves and protect their property. The proposed change to the "Discharge of Weapons" section of the Roswell Code of Ordinances would not only disallow citizens from using a firearm in defense of personal property, but it would also prohibit Roswell residents from using a gun to defend themselves and their families against dangerous animals such as bears and varmints. Additional language in this egregious amendment would even outlaw the use of all air guns. It is vital that NRA members call City Council immediately to express staunch opposition to this anti-gun amendment. Council members can be reached at (770) 641-3757, or to e-mail individual City Council members, go to Please also encourage your friends, family members, and fellow gun-owners to attend the City Council meeting to voice their opposition!

This could very well put Roswell High School out of the Georgia High School Association Varsity Air Rifle Program.

1,089 Posts
Does anyone see a problem with this? I will be attending and speaking against the intervention of the Police Chief and Department of Wildlife.

Here is the text of as it will be read tonight:

STATE OF GEORGIA First Reading: March 21, 2005 Second Reading: April 4, 2005


WHEREAS, State law provides that the governing authority of each municipal corporation shall have legislative power to adopt clearly reasonable ordinances, resolutions, or regulations relating to its property, affairs, and local government for which no provision has been made by general law; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor and Council of the City of Roswell are charged with the protection of the public health, safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, the Public Safety Committee has recommended changes to Chapter 13, Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions, regarding the discharge of weapons within the City of Roswell:

NOW, THEREFORE, the Mayor and Council of the City of Roswell, pursuant to their authority, do hereby adopt the following amendment:


Chapter 13, Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions, of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Roswell, Georgia is hereby amended by deleting from Article 13.1, Offenses Involving Public Peace and Order, Section 13.1.3, Discharge of weapons in its entirety and substituting therefore a new Section 13.1.3, to read as follows:

Section 13.1.3 Discharge of weapons.
(a) It shall be unlawful to discharge within the city limits of the City of Roswell, any firearm, air gun, bow, or crossbow. However, this section shall not be construed to prohibit any officer of the law from discharging a firearm in the performance of his duty, nor any citizen from discharging a firearm when lawfully defending himself or another person from imminent bodily harm. Furthermore, this section shall not be construed to prohibit any person from discharging a weapon within certain sporting facilities designed specifically for the practice of such sport and approved by the City, nor shall it be construed as to prohibit any person from the practice of archery on his own property provided that such activity is conducted on an archery range meeting the minimum requirements set forth by the National Field Archery Association and International Field Archery Association Archery and Bowhunter Range Guidelines (May 2000), Sections II and III.

(b) If , in the opinion of the Public Safety Committee, any wildlife is found to be congregating in such numbers in a particular location, or in such a manner, that they constitute a nuisance or a menace to health or property, and if no satisfactory alternative is found to abate such nuisance, then, after consultation with and in a manner approved by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, the wildlife may be removed or destroyed. It shall be the responsibility of the chief of police to lawfully arrange for the abatement of such nuisance or menace.

(c) Any person violating this section shall be punished as set forth in section 1.1.3 of this code.


Severability. Should any court of competent jurisdiction declare any section of this Ordinance invalid or unconstitutional, such declaration shall not affect the validity of the Ordinance as a whole or any part thereof, which is not specifically declared to be invalid or unconstitutional.


Repeal of Conflicting Provisions. All ordinances, parts of ordinances, or regulations in conflict herewith are repealed.


Renumbering. It is the intention of the Mayor and Council, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this Ordinance shall become and be made a part of the Code of Ordinances, City of Roswell, Georgia and the sections of this Ordinance may be renumbered to accomplish such intention.

This Ordinance shall take effect and be in force from and after the day of its adoption, the public welfare demanding it.

The above Ordinance was read and approved by the Mayor and Council of the City of Roswell, Georgia on the ______ day of _________________, 2005.


Here is the Existing Ordinance:

Section 13.1.3 Discharge of weapons.
(a) It shall be unlawful to discharge any firearm, airgun or BB gun projecting lead or any missiles, except at a place and at times authorized by permit secured from the chief of police of the city. It shall further be unlawful to shoot arrows unless engaged in archery. This section shall not be construed to prohibit any officer of the law from discharging a firearm in the performance of his duty, nor to any citizen from discharging a firearm when lawfully defending person or property. The chief of police will not issue a permit until he has examined the place on which the firearm or gun of any type will be fired and has determined that shooting at such location would not constitute a safety hazard and that the hours and noise involved would not cause harm to and/or constitute a nuisance to any residential area, any medical or nursing facility, any church and/or any schools located in the vicinity.
(b) Any person violating this section shall be punished as set forth in section 1-1-3 of this code.



Professional Troll
2,301 Posts
I don't think it really matters. The only big difference is that in the new ordinance it does not say "in lawful defense of property", only "in lawful defense of himself or another person..."

Per state law, you cannot use force that is likely to cause grave bodily harm or death (aka deadly force) to defend property other than a habitation - habitation being WITHIN the confines of ones home, place of business, and motor vehicle. Notice I emphasized "within", because you can only resort to deadly force ONLY after the BG has made entry into the habitation.

Super Moderator
73,474 Posts
Looks like standard municipal ordinance language. What I mean is, look at your own city's ordinances, and you are quite likely to see the same thing, word for word.

Lawyer and Gun Activist
29,604 Posts
I don't have any fundamental objection to the proposed law-- at least as it applies to firearms. Does it also apply to BB guns and paintball markers? That would be objectionable. I didn't really read it; I just glanced it over.

It sounds like they're trying to regulate indoor shooting ranges. Or maybe Roswell is planning on annexing some rural land in some remote corner of N. Fulton where there may be some issues with people hunting squirrels and shooting .22s in their back yards-- but I doubt it.

In any case, not only does the law have an exception for lawful use of deadly force, but I don't think that such an exception needs to be written into the law anyway. The legal doctrines of necessity and duress can often excuse somebody from breaking the law if that's what it takes to prevent a much greater harm that the actor (the citizen accused of the crime) did not cause.
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